Saturday, February 20, 2016

5 Basic Movements Every Young Athlete Needs to Learn Before Lifting Heavy Weight [STACK]

To this day, there's still a huge misconception that kids shouldn't lift weights. I've written about this before HERE, so I'm not going to dwell on the particulars, but the point is this:

Strength training is perfectly safe for youngsters. It just has to be carried out intelligently.

First and foremost is the idea of teaching movement competency before movement capacity. That is, the athlete must be able to perform basic human movements with proper form before attempting to add a bunch of weight and reps to them.

So what are the most fundamental human movements that young athletes need to master?

You can see a preview of them in the collage above, and you can read way more about them in my new article on -- 5 Basic Movements Every Young Athlete Needs to Learn Before Lifting Heavy Weight.
Just click the link below:

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Planning Your Attack on Recovery []

Like most men his age, Joe (age 45) keeps very busy. He works late hours and hustles to get to the gym three evenings per week while still making time for his wife and kids. With his busy schedule, Joe's lucky if he gets a consistent 6 hours of sleep per night.

Joe tries to eat well, but he has a few downfalls (primarily ice cream, beer, and soft pretzels). He knows a home-cooked meal is a better choice than fast food, but given his time constraints, sometimes he just doesn’t have any other option. The one thing he does well is drink plenty of water (and craft beer).

Joe’s always been a man on-the-go, but lately he’s been feeling more tired than ever. He wants to shed the extra pounds he gained over the holidays, build his chest and biceps back up to what they once were, and be able to keep up better with his vivacious children on the playground.

Seemingly, he’s doing everything he can in the gym to meet those goals. Yet he finds himself spinning his wheels -- and even going backwards in some respects. Lately, he’s been struggling just to get his shoes on in the morning, his flexibility limited after tweaking an old back injury while shoveling.

Why is it that Joe just can’t seem to make any progress? It’s likely because he’s barely considering the yin to the yang of hard training: recovery.

In our new article on, we break down everything Joe (and you) need to consider when you’re “Planning Your Attack on Recovery:”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gumby Goals: Takeaways from the FRC Seminar

This past weekend, I was one of some eighty-odd personal trainers, strength coaches, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other movement professionals who descended upon Pitman, NJ, for the FRC seminar at Endeavor Sports Performance (the gym where I’m currently interning).

What’s the FRC seminar? It’s not for the Finnish Red Cross, nor is it on functional residual capacity (of the lungs). Rather, it’s Dr. Andreo Spina’s “Functional Range Conditioning.” The FRC course came highly recommended by my friend, esteemed colleague, and Instagram sensation Hunter Cook, so I was very excited for the opportunity to attend.

If you’ve ever seen Hunter move, you might assume that FRC is only for circus performers and people who want to be able to overhead press while doing a split (see video below). Moreover, the name itself, “Functional Range Conditioning,” kind of sounds like a bunch of buzzwords strewn together haphazardly. At least, it did to me when I first heard it. In actuality, each word in the name has a very precise meaning, and FRC isn’t just for people as Gumby-like as Hunter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What It Means to Be Evidence-based [ExerciseGeeks.Com]

“Do you have a study to back up that claim?”

These are the oft-repeated words of know-it-alls the world over. From my training as a biomechanist, I get it. When it comes to scientific writing, you can’t just throw statements out there without justification. When you make a claim, you have to back it up with evidence.

I mean, imagine a scientist claiming gait training cures Parkinson’s because it supposedly worked for his great uncle, twice-removed, back in the 40’s. That wouldn’t be very credible.

In general, being evidence-based is a good thing, albeit painstaking. For scientific writing, the evidence must take the form of previously published peer-reviewed scientific papers (oftentimes the more you cite, the better), such as case studies, experimental studies, reviews, and meta-analyses.

This is where things get interesting, because not all evidence is created equal. For example, only weak conclusions can be drawn from a case study of one subject. The best research designs include large numbers of subjects, randomization of those subjects to experimental and control groups, and blinding (subjects are ignorant as to which group they’re even in). Reviews and meta-analyses represent the strongest forms of evidence since they amalgamate the results of many similar studies.

The problem is that science isn’t perfect. Try as they may, researchers are not without their biases, and statistics can be made to bend the truth. Moreover, there can’t be a systematic review that precisely pertains to every unique real-life situation and population.